If you haven’t seen singer Tyrese’s numerous social media videos and rants bemoaning his custody case with his ex-wife over his daughter Shayla, or his accusatory blasts at his Fast and Furious co-star Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, you must be living under a rock yourself. Tyrese has had a social media meltdown over the last two weeks, resulting in the strangest 48 hours of his career. Wednesday, Nov. 1, Tyrese posted a bizarre video of himself crying and pleading with friends and social media followers to help him. This was after numerous posts of him cursing out “The Rock” and accusing him of using steroids and not being “the people’s champ.” Tyrese’s chants went back and forth between his ex-wife’s allegations of child abuse to accusing The Rock of ruining his life, to thanking Dr. King’s family for allowing Dr. King to march in Watts during the Civil Rights Movement. Needless to say, Tyrese’s fans are afraid for his sanity and the rest of social media is enjoying watching him crash and burn. Mental health advocate, Dr. Sheila Williams believes there is nothing funny about Tyrese’s actions and wants his followers to know that it could be a sign of something much deeper.
“It’s heartbreaking because there are so many signs that he needs real help. He kept reiterating that Shayla is all that he has, though he recently remarried. Vocally, he sounds stressed; his eyes are moving haphazardly from left to right; his mannerisms are off. In my opinion, there were a lot of red flags,” Dr. Williams says. In Tyrese’s case, it’s sad that people are seeing this as entertainment when it’s clear he is at an extreme, low point, which could prove dangerous for him.
Below Dr. Williams gives five red flags that suggest Tyrese needs to seek professional help:
- Possible paranoia – Dr. Williams suggests Tyrese is dealing with paranoia because he feels that everyone is against him. He’s calling out friends and family that have abandoned him and claims the industry has blackballed him. He claims to be alone and has no one but his daughter Shayla, although he recently got married to a woman he claimed was the love of his life. Dr. Williams says paranoia is often a sign of someone needing therapy or at the very least the need to speak with a mental health professional.
- Suggested irrational sense of familiarity with social media – Dr. Williams says Tyrese has been posting regularly about personal things, suggesting that he has formed possibly an unhealthy bond of familiarity with his followers. “Most people would not talk to their social media followers about personal issues such as this, but Tyrese has created a community that he feels are a part of his world. It’s an unhealthy sense of connection,” Dr. Williams says.
- A sense of hopelessness – “Tyrese is exhibiting a sense of hopelessness in deciding to post the video with him crying uncontrollably. It would appear this is his version of rock bottom as he is calling out colleagues and begging for help. Whenever someone feels a sense of hopelessness that is a very dangerous place to be. When people feel hopeless is when we see suicidal or even homicidal acts occur.”
- Signs of abandonment – “Tyrese has publicly discussed not having his father in his life and even having issues with his mother and feeling like he was alone as a child. He has also gone through a public divorce and now his rants include messages about his friends and colleagues that he feels have abandoned him,” Dr. Williams explains. “If he was unable to get help for some of the issues he dealt with growing up, this could be a culmination of events that transpired during childhood.”
- Signs of displacement – At the root of all this hype has been Tyrese’s constant angry tirades against his former co-star The Rock. “We call this displacement, meaning Tyrese has displaced anger against the Rock. Although he is dealing with issues stemming from his relationship with his ex-wife, Tyrese doesn’t appear mad at her; in fact, he says he simply wants answers as to why she would do this. He has focused all his anger and aggression towards The Rock. This displaced anger could be for no reason at all; it could also be because of something The Rock said to Tyrese that triggered something within him. Whatever the reason, Tyrese’s bursts of anger against the Rock seem out of character and show signs of an unhealthy mental state.”
Dr. Williams says unfortunately what is playing out with Tyrese happens every day. “Statistics show that one out of every four people will experience mental health illness during their lifetime. Whether it’s triggered by PTSD after returning from war, going through a painful death or even dealing with devastating financial misfortune, severe depression is a common illness,” she says. “I hear people make fun of people with bipolar depression and schizophrenia. Those illnesses are nothing to play with and we shouldn’t make light of them because it takes away from the seriousness of the illness when someone has a real diagnosis.”
Dr. Williams says she hopes Tyrese will find the help he needs and she also hopes those watching will learn from his situation instead of using it for Instagram fun: “Mental illness is no laughing matter and, as we see, it doesn’t discriminate against anyone regardless of their gender, socioeconomic status or if they are a celebrity or not.”
Dr. Sheila D. Williams has over 25 years of successful professional experience. She is an independent consultant (SW Consulting Services LLC), a mental health therapist/counselor, published author, life coach, educational consultant and certified national trainer. She holds a BA in psychology with a minor in sociology, an MA in counseling and a Ph.D. in leadership and education. After caring for her mother, who suffered from clinical depression and multiple sclerosis, Dr. Williams decided to pursue her education and career in the mental health field.